Russian imports of poultry meat in January-March jumped by 20% compared to the same period last year, reaching 93,900 tonnes (t) and a total value of US$150.2m.
At the same time, imports of other meat decreased by 6.2% – to 224,600t or US$887.3m. Imports of processed and canned meat products fell most dramatically – by 28% to 7,500t, worth US$37.9m.
Experts pointed out that the rise of poultry meat imports led to an increase in the share of imported poultry on the market, which is already under pressure from overproduction.
“In general, the volume of the Russian poultry market in the first quarter of 2013 amounted to 935.8m t in carcase weight, up 12.6% or 105,000t on the same period in 2012. Despite the increase in domestic poultry production performance over this period – by 7.5% or 58,100t to 832,000t – the share of imported products in the domestic Russian market increased from 8.6% to 11.8%,” reported experts from analytical agency Kazah-Zerno.
However, industry experts claimed the sharp increase in imports was not due to trading changes, but the fact that importers were given quotas a month earlier than usual.
“The statistical jump happened because the issue of quotas for 2013 took place in November 2012, and not in the middle of January, as they were previously. This meant that supplies to the Russian market did not begin in February, as in the 2012 figures, but from 1 January 2013,” said Albert Davleev, head of Russia’s department at the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC).
“The average monthly supply of poultry at the beginning of the year was actually lower by 15-17% than in 2012, which occurred due to lower wholesale prices for poultry and large stocks on the Russian market, as well as a reduction in pork prices, which triggered a fall in prices for poultry.”